Code sets for everyday life situations of children aged 0-6: Sleeping, Mealtimes and Play – a study based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health for Children and Youth

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Introduction: The complexity of the Child and Youth version of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, the ICF-CY, is a challenge for occupational therapists and other professionals in clinical work. Code sets including only essential categories help to make it more user-friendly. Thus far, code sets have been developed to reflect functioning for children in different developmental periods. However, there are no code sets that support screening of participation in everyday life situations and can be used across diagnoses. This exploratory study is the first attempt to develop code sets for preschoolers' (age 0-6 years) everyday life situations.

Method: Using sequential Delphi processes with expert panels consisting of 35 professionals in five interdisciplinary early intervention teams and six parents of children, the study identified content in three code sets: Sleeping, Mealtimes and Play.

Results: A limited number of relevant categories were identified for three code sets: Sleeping (12), Mealtimes (21) and Play (30). Findings suggested a professional focus on Environmental factors compared with a parental focus on Body functions.

Conclusion: It is important to consider the opinions of all involved when developing code sets to provide a common framework for screening of children's everyday functioning.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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